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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Morris

'America's Godzilla': The State of the King of Monsters

I love Gojira/Godzilla. Since the 1954 Japanese original the giant monster has managed to outlive just about every other film franchise. If you excuse the comparison he's a dinosaur of the silver screen. Whilst 95% of his work sticks to the Japanese routes in Toho Pictures' works, it wasn't until the erm...the 1998 American Godzilla where I was first introduced to the concept, and very quickly formed a bond with the merchandising young me could get his hands on (the hand puppet Zilla was the best, followed closely by the animated series). Roland Emmerich's dumb monster movie still holds a close spot in my heart, but in the years that followed I soon discovered how much it butchered the real deal.

I scoffed down a double bill of '54's Gojira and King Kong vs. Godzilla, and like most people fell in love with the rubber-suited antics of Japan's spiky-backed nemesis. Of course it helped that I'm obsessed with dinosaurs and it's no stretch of the imagination to envision Godzilla himself as an old-fashioned upright T-Rex kicking the shit out of other monsters. The goofiness of Toho's later installments kept my grin widening, where as I got older I found the reason for the creature's inception to be as harrowing as intended. It's not often that the manifestation of nuclear destruction can provide such entertainment for 60+ years. After realising they had done wrong with Emmerich's remake, Legendary and Warner Bros. produced director Gareth Edwards' Godzilla in 2014 to a divided reaction from fans and critics alike. Recently, the film's sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released to similar fare, with the latter underperforming at the box office. Neither have apparently managed to capture the essence of the series that fans have longed for, but where does the fault lie? And how can the future of the creature's US lifespan improve? Well, I've been having a think about that...

*Spoilers for 2014's Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Slight Spoilers for Shin Godzilla*

After Toho vowed a ten-year hiatus for Godzilla starting with 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars, meetings and development of an IMAX 3D Godzilla film involving Hollywood's Legendary Pictures begun and were just as swiftly halted. Legendary then obtained the rights to Godzilla, and alongside Warner Bros. announced a new reboot for a 2012 release. British director Gareth Edwards, having impressed with his independently-made monster gem named, erm... Monsters (in which he created the VFX himself in his room using Adobe), was announced as director and swore to remain true to the spirit of Godzilla stating that he too was a fan. I still firmly believe that the studios choice of directors for their two Godzilla films have been their strongest decisions. Not only do they promote individuality in their tones across their work, but also provide some much-deserved respect from genre filmmakers. That being said, however much I adore Michael Dougherty's work, Edwards' vision and passion for the first film are what drives the franchise home as well as making it stand out from the original. It's why I fully believe that Godzilla (2014) is a brilliant film.

Godzilla (2014)

If you need proof that Edwards wanted to do right by Godzilla, you only have to look at his reluctance to meet the original 2012 release date. Instead, he spent day after day conversing with the visual effects department and designers on the new look for the creature. Something new yet familiar. This attention to detail came as no surprise for fans of his directorial debut Monsters - a deliberately-slow and methodical character study against the backdrop of a monster invasion. Thematically, both Monsters and Godzilla share much of the same DNA in their storytelling too, but we'll come back to that later.

Where 'Monsters' focuses emotionally on the two human protagonists (Scoot McNairy - left & Whitney Able - right), 'Godzilla' shifts towards the aforementioned creature.

"Godzilla is a metaphor for Hiroshima in the original movie. We tried to keep that, and there are a lot of themes from the '54 movie that we've kept. " - Gareth Edwards.

On the surface the presence of nuclear bombs (in a delightfully-retrofitted military title sequence) and radioactive waste link the two, but they're only skin deep. It's like saying the film connects to the previous versions because it also happens to feature giant monsters fighting each other. Instead of having Godzilla awoken due to nuclear probing/testing, the screenplay by Max Borenstein & David Callaham offers verisimilitude by grounding the presence of nuclear war as a reaction to Godzilla's awakening in the 1950s - essentially offering a cliffnotes (though elongated in the 2012 version of the screenplay w/ suggestions from David S. Goyer) version of the '54 original's ending. So if Godzilla's not a manifestation of the devastation of war, then what is he?

Simple. Edwards, Borenstein & Callaham instead choose to signify Godzilla and the rest of the Titans as the repercussions of, essentially, climate change. There's a lot more to it than that of course, and the film doesn't turn into a harsh reality-spewing wake up call, far from it in fact. It's dripped into the film slowly. After the awakening of another monster underground in 1999, lead engineer at the Janjira nuclear plan Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) loses his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) in the ensuing collapse. The unknown creature escapes and the incident is written off as an unfortunate earthquake. Fifteen years later, Joe's son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) returns home from active service as an EOD soldier (bomb disposal) and hears his father's been arrested sneaking back into Janjira's radioactive remains. Of course, when going to collect his estranged father the predetermined shared-theme of nuclear weaponry is disarmed when they discover the area's clear. Clean, in fact. The first sign that this isn't your father/grandfather's Godzilla.

At the time of release, Cranston had just come off the back of the platform-defining Breaking Bad, and the film's promotional material milked him for all it was worth. One of the main criticisms of the film was its lack of three-dimensional characters, and whilst that's a far assessment (though I'd say harsh) Cranston acts the hell out of Joe Brody. He basically has no interaction with the Godzilla plotline, and is purely driven by grief and guilt from the death of his wife. The role essentially allows Cranston to steal every scene he's in, Edward's framing of the radiation chasing after Sandra as he watches on, traumatised, is the first instance of monstrosity in the film. She's unknowingly the catalyst for the Brody family's role in Godzilla's story, echoing the lasting damage that catastrophic events have on those tied with the victims. A few years ago I stumbled upon an editorial piece that has since been removed entitled 'Godzilla & The Flaws of Tribal Film Criticism; or, Joe Brody is Godzilla' (if anyone can find it let me know and I'll link it up) - essentially stating that Cranston's character acts as the embodiment of Toho's Gojira. He's a character born from tragedy and awash in suffering, used to simply pass the proverbial torch to America's Godzilla (Taylor-Johnson's Brody) once he is wiped out in the destruction.

Brody on the other hand finds an old army-man action figure in his childhood home, and realises that he's become this figure of adulthood rather than following in his father's footsteps. Brody's only real character flaw is he's too altruistic. He watches over a lost child on a train during a monster attack, he pledges to help disarm bombs to save civilians - he's the stereotypical American hero in an army uniform to boot. The only downside is that this comes at the cost of time with his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and son Sam (Carson Bolde). If this was milked and developed a little more it would have made Brody fully three-dimensional, instead of simply seeming like some perfect specimen. He needs to fully learn from his father's mistakes and not push away his family, and whilst it's hinted at in Godzilla it's not utilised to its full potential.

If the film's other characters had maintained the emotionality of Joe we'd be telling a different story.

"How's the bomb business these days?" - Joe Brody to his son.

A second creature (entitled MUTOs) hatches from a cocoon, and makes contact with its mating partner that awoke in 1999. The MUTOs are parasitic lite-Titans that feed off radiation, much like Godzilla himself (living at the bottom of the ocean allows him to feast from the Earth's core). Rather quickly we're bombarded with technical jargon from Ken Watanabe's Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, named after the original's scientist 'hero' and Sally Hawkins' Dr. Vivienne Graham. Both feel strangely archetypal in their roles, though Watanabe has the closest on-screen gravitas to Cranston so essentially acts as the passage for the rest of the film's characters to flow through. Every moment between these two feels practical - as scientists on the verge of destruction that's hardly surprising, but it tends to brush off on Brody and the remaining cast of characters. But then again, this isn't their film. It's Godzilla's.

And what a beast he is too. Although it's the MUTOs who are seen first and cause the most destruction, taking the antagonistic role of Gojira's in the original film, Edwards and co.'s redesign of the king of monsters is more than worthy of praise. Taking special care to ensure he 'didn't have a weak angle' - Godzilla's 355-foot thick build is an amalgamation of his previous incarnations. His spiked back plates are inspired by hardened magma from the Earth's core, whilst his slow movement and disinterested posture makes his role on Earth apparent.

You see, if the MUTOs (and other Titans in the sequel) represent the damage and destruction humanity is putting Mother Earth through, destroying countless others forcefully in their paths, Godzilla's role as protector of his home presents him as the impartial judge to all proceedings above sea level. It's been noted that the primary different in the US Godzilla is that he's more of an antihero, whether it's on purpose or not. I firmly believe it's very clear that his brawl with the MUTOs is purely to put a stop to the destruction of his habitat, and not in any way shape or form to save the lives of microscopic, futile humans. Godzilla's reboot takes into account the longevity of the series and applies it to the character. He's old in this film. He's old and fed up, with clear disdain and disinterest in mustering up the energy to fight. His movements are lethargic for the most part, to the point where it's no surprise that during the climactic battle he takes a simple breather and stares at Brody with a look of such exhaustion that it's inspiring to see him get up once again and get back to work. Although his movements no doubt cause thousands to die, it's never done with the intent to cause harm, and it's the same when he saves people. There's a moment where missiles are launched towards a group of soldier, only for them to be caught up against Godzilla's spine as he rises from the water below just in time. It's not played for heroism, it's played with the straightest face possible. And this more than anything is why the film succeeds as well as it does. Gareth Edwards' direction is astoundingly creative and classical. Bolstered by a love of old Spielberg blockbusters like Jaws and Jurassic Park, all the action is kept contained and secondary to the point of view of the human witnesses as they're the presences on-screen that we as an audience connect to the easiest.

Part of the reason why Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's space battles/third act is held in such high regard is because of Edward's extensive work as a special effects artist beforehand. The man knows how to frame CGI and present it in such a way to advance spectacle and not just simply 'show' what's going on, and Godzilla uses some fantastic techniques to keep things feeling fresh and interesting. Much like Guillermo Del Toro's work on Pacific Rim the year before, Edwards maintains a realistic, POV-style of camerawork when the monsters arrive. Everything is seen from a human perspective, with the monsters either being partially-obscured or framed as an extra detail in the background for some shots. This embeds them in reality and makes them a part of the living, breathing world we see onscreen. Godzilla's first full reveal is worked in by an astonishing sequence viewing the destruction of the MUTOs from within an airport. A chain reaction of explosions picks off the planes one by one as the crowd watches in terror looking through a wall of glass. We're lead to assume this is a purely reactionary shot of the destruction. Until a foot stomps into view before the glass, illuminated by the flames behind. Immediately we know the size of the creature we're dealing with, humans are one of the most consistent aspects viewers use to determine scale in films, and this reveal is nothing short of masterful.

This shot alone would have been all the marketing needed.

Gareth Edwards steals these moments steadily throughout the film. Whether it's watching the Golden Gate Bridge steady Godzilla's footing from within a bus filled with kids, first responders (firefighters etc.) arriving to scenes that have already been demolished, or viewing a tsunami from the front seat of a car, each of these offer the tantalisingly perfect mix of spectacle and reality in the vein of old Steven Spielberg blockbusters. Edward's professed his favourite sequence involves the aftermath of Godzilla's initial reveal. Once his titanous roar echoes through the debris and he tackles one of the MUTOs for the first time, the film immediately cuts to truncated news footage of the following brawl on a television screen. A cruel trick that cleverly makes the pay off later on all the more impactful whilst poking fun at the expectation of the audience.

Aside from holding back of the monster fights however, Godzilla's destruction is presented as callbacks to various natural disasters from recent memory. We live in a world now where, unlike 1954 or even 1998, we're up to date with every earthquake, tsunami and terrorist attack as soon as they happen. I can't help but wonder whether the presentation of the side-effects from the monsters tests the audience's desensitivity to such events. As Godzilla rises from the water in Hawaii we follow a stray dog as the water retreats back into the ocean, only to sweep the roads and kill hundreds in one swoop. These scenes recreate specific distatsers we've become accustomed to, and in a post 9/11 world there's nothing to separate the destruction onscreen and the destruction in real life except for the difference in monsters. It's not designed to upset but rather enthrall, and Edward's depiction of destruction and his attention to detail is what makes the majority of the film so thrilling despite some small hang-ups and character problems.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Compared to the previous film Godzilla:KotM maintains a common ideology for film sequels - do everything the same, but bigger. Hell, even Godzilla himself is a dozen meters taller (he grows over time, duh). After the first film hit big at the box-office and proved the titan could still capture the imagination of the everyday American, Legendary/Warner Bros. soon announced the creation of a (groan) monster shared universe creatively titled - The Monsterverse. That meant that King Kong, Godzilla and all of his kaiju/titan buddies were going to attempt to give MARVEL a run for their money (though not seriously because they owned Hollywood by this point). Godzilla enabled the series to start afresh with a solid foundation and good footing, yet for some reason the sequel failed to recapture the magic that the film before produced...but why?

*Disclaimer, I have yet to rewatch KotM so this is mostly applying to a single watch and some research*

Every Frame a Painting. Am I right?

Much like Edwards, the hiring of Trick 'r Treat, Krampus writer/director Michael Dougherty was an inspired choice. Another lifelong Godzilla fan with horror experience to boot, Dougherty's involvement in the screenplay as well as direction helped to clean up the wound that was Gareth Edwards' departure. Taking place five years after the previous film, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) witness the birth of the larva 'Mothra' - a butterfly-like ambivalent titan. Emma is able to calm the creature down using a device her and her ex-husband Mark (Kyle Chandler) created - the 'Orca'. This machine can transmit certain frequencies, thus communicating with the titans and potentially making them docile whilst Dr. Serizawa and Dr. Vivienne Graham continue their work the MONARCH organisation. Excluding a strange and haphazard plot involving eco-terrorists hell-bent on awakening the titans, King of the Monsters essentially tells the story of the other creatures waking up and inevitably laying waste to Earth under the rule of 'King Ghidora' - a false titan who lacks Godzilla's indifference towards humanity and would rather see the Earth perish.

Much like a sports drama, the film is one of redemption and coming back after a loss. After Godzilla suffers a painful blow in the first act (thanks to an 'oxygen destroyer' much like the title used for the bomb in the '54 original) the humans are pushed to the brink of extinction as Ghidora's awoken monsters destroy all in their path. This of course leads MONARCH and the human characters to seek out Godzilla and support him in his battle against the false king of his people.

For the vocal moviegoers who complained about the lack of Godzilla or monster fighting onscreen in the previous incarnation, Dougherty ensures you don't leave this installment unfulfilled. The only problem with this is, whilst Edwards wallowed and drip-fed the audience with teases that built tension, aside from a submarine sequence in the opening (which is brilliant) King of the Monsters tends to quit messing around and get straight to the monsters. But when your film is soaked in monster vs. monster destructive battles, the impact of them begins to soon wear thin. And this is not to say the monsters themselves are poorly executed, far from it. In fact, this is the best any of them have every looked. But on the scales where Godzilla perked up, King of the Monsters never quite achieves lift off. King of the Monsters is a frustrating film.

Without bringing back the Brody's from 2014's film the Russell's are hastily explained and Emma and Madison are kidnapped near the film's opening. The problem is we have no connecting to these characters yet so to throw them in dangers way and limit their actions under the rulings of eco-terrorists cuts them off where they begin. Kyle Chandler's Mark Russell suffers a similar fate to Taylor-Johnson's Brody, in that his solitary character trait (in this case the love of his family) is expected to maintain the entire film with him as a protagonist. This wouldn't be an issue if the human characters didn't take such a precedent over the monsters of course. The only character with an impactful story arc is Ken Watanabe's Serizawa, who manages to maintain an emotional link to the '54 original whilst paying respect to the character.

Of course, this isn't the film's problem. The screenplay from Dougherty and Max Shields feels like it suffered from a heavy studio hand in the build up of its Monsterverse (Kong: Skull Island had already been released at this point) and thus the film is stuck in a Catch 22 (ironic considering Chandler's role in the recent adaptation...okay I'll shut up). If they emphasised and put more work into the human characters audiences would complain about the lack of monster action like the previous film, though by fixing this they dwindled the creatures' effectiveness.

When talking about the 2014 film, Producer Jon Jashni said "as with the ’54 original, there are sly, subtle comments being made that don’t get in the way of the storytelling and the entertainment " in regards to the film's subtext. I disagree. I'd argue that both Godzilla and King of the Monsters' technobabble renders a lot of potential subtext void. Gareth Edwards continuously used animals (the dog in Hawaii, caterpillars/wild dogs living in radioactive areas) to highlight the theme of nature (in this case - the titans) persevering no matter what happens to humanity. KotM does much of its storytelling in dialogue, aside from a credit sequence that boasts a fantastically rich lore to explore in future installments. It feels at times like watching the English dubbed versions of the old Godzilla films, without much of the nuance and sly digs at America.

Want these up on your wall? I'll answer, of course you do. You're only human.

But what about the positives? Well, for one (much like the 2014 film) the advertising was extraordinary. Whereas Edwards' focussed on the mystique and dark build up to Godzilla's reveal, KotM reigned free with every colour under the rainbow. A legion of spectacular posters and paintings made the titans look like the Gods they are, and it's reflected beautifully within the film itself because, and let's say this loud, King of the Monsters is stunning. Each of the main titans gets their own knockout reveal, whether it's Godzilla's deepwater swim, Mothra's waterfall hatching, Rodan's volcanic eruption or Ghidora's electric unfreezing, each of them leaves a lasting impression. Dougherty's crafted a film alongside cinematographer Lawrence Sher that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible, with the best sound quality to boot. This was one of my most anticipated films of the year, and the fact that I wanted to stay away from as much promotional material damaged my soul because of how gorgeous the images were.

Humanity's futility against the creatures allows them to become the playthings, by ushering in a near-deadly blow to their potential saviour it's really about time the human race comes to a close. Helicopters, planes and building upon buildings are wiped clean in breathtaking sequences against the backdrops of thunderstorms, lightning, lava and the middle of the ocean. Dougherty employs more of a handheld-approach to the intense fight scenes, in particular one in the arctic between Ghidora and Godzilla. This elevates the panicked nature the film carries across the majority of its run time, only this time the cutaways to technical jargon seem to be lacking the sly winks to the audience. Instead, MONARCH become interruptions to another colourful moving painting. Whilst the sheer amount of titan content in the film softens the sense of scale, Dougherty's handheld work helps establish a clear futility for the humans. We are nothing but spectators to the events that are happening.

Part of the intrigue I had about KotM going in was seeing how it would follow up the climate change allegories that were hinted at in the original. Rather than small themes running through the background of the plot, we instead get to see the aftermath of the destruction from 2014's Godzilla - as lush rainforests and vegetation grows aplenty over the corpse of Oakland and other cityscapes. By turning humanity's creations into a playground, the titans themselves are repairing the Earth (unless Ghidora has a say of course). Now I know what I'm about to suggest might seem crazy, but I think KotM might have suited a series of political negotiations (bare with me) about the ramifications of outcomes of titan attacks, much like the ones featured in Shin Godzilla (which we'll come to in a bit). Not only would it allow charming actors such as Bradley Whitford and Charles Dance to have meatier speeches and characters, but would also offer a new direction for the series looking ahead. It's been clearly established by now that humans can't greatly affect the ways of the titans, but if the sacrifice means the continued existence of Earth and the human race, wouldn't it be worth it? It'd offer an ethical argument that would have audience members talking long after the credits roll. Subsequently the brilliant credits sequence, which features numerous future headlines detailing the continued relationship between human and titan, is the closest we get to this. In the end however, Godzilla: King of the Monsters succeeds as a gorgeous monster movie, but lacks the depth to leave a lasting impression that'll keep anyone other than die-hard fans from coming back. Dawdling reviews and a lacklustre box-office performance put the future of the Monsterverse in jeopardy. At least, it would have if they hadn't already filmed the sequel...

Shin Godzilla (2016) and the Future

That's right. Legendary's next installment of the Monsterverse has already wrapped production, and is (currently) scheduled for release in March of 2020, just seven months away. Not only that, but it's the first crossover for the shared universe as King Kong dares to go against Godzilla is the creatively-titled Godzilla vs. Kong. Another horror director has been snatched up at the help (Adam Wingard - You're Next, The Guest) with a screenplay credited to Terry Rossio (Small Soldiers, Pirates of the Caribbean) with input from a collaborative writers' room.

So far this has been the only image revealed for the project.

Obviously it's silly to assume anything at this point but there are a few things worth noting down when looking into the franchise's immediate future. Firstly the return of the Russell family from the previous film will heighten the continuity and potentially allow us to add more dimensions to the human characters, but series newcomer Alexander Skarsgard currently receives top billing in the promotional material. Skarsgard is known for his intense and dynamic range, and if used correctly could offer up solid character work in the lines of Cranston and Watanabe. My main concern in fact, is the title of the film and what it represents. We've had a fighting monster film already, and the prospect of having another go around but with a monkey this time feels a little backwards for a franchise with options embedded within its lore. Again this is all conjecture, and I trust Wingard and the crew in bringing together a new chapter of the Godzilla saga. but how does the future look for a 60+ year old dinosaur of a franchise?

Like Shin Godzilla, probably. After the success of Hollywood's reboot, Toho studios decided to reboot the character themselves and released the game-changing re imagining of the classic Gojira. Instead of emerging fully formed, this new resurrection of Godzilla reflects the process of evolution - first appearing as a worm and gradually developing into its conscious-self over the course of the film. There's an parasitic and primal-side to our old friend this time around, he's not fully developed or aware of his destruction, and the attacks from humans are what spur on his transformations. Instead of commenting on topics such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the film tackles Fukushima and the 2011 tsunami/earthquakes whilst also parodying Japanese politics. Much of the film takes place in board rooms and United Nations meetings, with a stylized and exaggerated look at the panic behind the scenes of government decisions. Whereas 2014's Godzilla was a film about the creature itself, Shin Godzilla (or Godzilla: Resurgence) uses him as a catalyst for a lampooning of a reptilian version of Dr. Strangelove. Using Godzilla as a framing device is genius, and completely in line with what the character represented in the first place. Yet Shin Godzilla isn't content with simply doing that either, it chooses to craft a whole new being in this version of the titular titan. He's alien. A child thrust into the world against his will and pleading for attention, confused at the offense given to him continuously by the military. The evolution idea is fresh and eerie (especially considering the jarring but effective vfx work on the film), and it's a testament to writer/co-director Hideaki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion) that the potential for this new Godzilla gives me chills. If you haven't seen the film and have the slightest interest I'd definitely recommend it - the closing shot is one of the most disturbing, thought-provoking images I've seen in a while, and is probably the first time I've truly felt fear during a Godzilla film.

What he lacks in majesty he makes up for in intrigue.

But how would the US equivalent keep up? There's a few directions for the Monsterverse to go in, for example Kong: Skull Island introduced the prospect of Toho's classic 'Monster Island' idea - a homeland of sorts for the titans. This could be the perfect opportunity to broaden the scope in regard to their representation too, giving each titan its own distinct personality and crafting the story around those rather than the humans that seek to destroy/annoy them. Personally I thought Mothra's depiction in KotM was a highlight, and her prehistoric and mystical relationship with Godzilla as a goddess of life was the perfect kind of visual poetry that such beautiful cinematography was made for. There's an ecosystem and predetermined relationship here and I'd love to know more about it. It would also give Legendary the chance to go deeper into the effects the titans can have on one another, Godzilla's fire form for example. With Kong being thrown into the mix, there's a worry that there'll be a Jurassic World-like plot with humanity desiring to create their own titan in order to defend their planet, but this would betray the environmental twinge the series has had thus far. In fact, I'd go all in on the ecosystem idea. The titans manifesting and cleaning the Earth at a cost, and the argument of how many human lives it's worth is fascinating to me. Chuck in a few adventurous excursions like Dr. Serizawa's discovery of Godzilla's ancient civilization and the balance between monster and human could benefit each other quite nicely.

In fact, in the build up to KotM, director Michael Dougherty expressed his interest in doing a HarryHausen-style Godzilla film set in prehistoric times, tentatively titled 'Godzilla B.C'.. If the promise of that isn't enough to get your blood pumping I don't know what is. The key is balance and not undermining a decent script, if it's a drama that features Godzilla and the titans then it has to also function as a good drama on its own. Audiences have become used to vfx marvels to the point where films are (fingers crossed) starting to revert back to a focus on story above all else, and when continuing a story as classic as Godzilla you're already in safe hands.

For 65 years and 35 films, Godzilla has surpassed language and cultural boundaries to become a global icon. His image, roar and name are all fully recognisable pieces of the societal zeitgeist. From a man in a rubber costume to the latest cutting-edge vfx, it's hard to argue that the 65 year-old's never looked better. Even when the odds are challenging, the fans will continue to debate and rewatch the series again and again. For them questions like this don't matter, not really. And no matter the outcome of Legendary's time with the titan, he'll continue to remain untouchable as a pop-culture phenomenon. Long live the King.

(I'm sorry I had to).

During my research for this piece I came across a couple of wonderful video essays I'd definitely recommend checking out.

Godzilla, Gojira & 'Shin' | Video Essay (2017) by FSDProductions is an exhaustive look at the titan's changes over the past few years, and his thoughts on Shin Godzilla in particular add a new layer of depth to the film.

How Godzilla 2014 Respects Its Japanese Roots | A Retrospective by 'Up From the Depths' details the references and callbacks that Edwards and co. snuck in to the 2014 film and why its respect is due.

I like doing these explorations/analyses of films/television shows from time to time. If you have a certain show or film or text you'd be interested in hearing my thoughts on, or if you'd be interested in contacting me about potential writing work then give me an email at I'd love to hear what you think.

P.S. I don't actually feel bad about liking 1998's Godzilla. Plus it has a killer soundtrack to boot. Jamiroquai's 'Deeper Underground'? You kidding me?

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1 Comment

kasaibou F29
kasaibou F29
Feb 16, 2022

"Brody's only real character flaw is he's too altruistic. He watches over a lost child on a train during a monster attack, he pledges to help disarm bombs to save civilians - he's the stereotypical American hero in an army uniform to boot."

By character flaw, do you mean something that rounds his character or is a detriment to his characterization.

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